Smart Cities

Smart City Initiatives

Southern Company is playing a key role in providing infrastructure that enhances cities and communities’ quality of life, enriches growth and increases economic development.

 

At Southern Company, we innovate, expand, invest, research and build solutions across the full energy spectrum for our customers.  As we continue building the future of energy, we understand the role technology and the IoT plays in making our cities and communities more connected. 

For the last few decades, new technologies like Advanced Metering Infrastructure, LED networked lighting controls, distributed energy resources, and smart grid technologies have paved the way for more advanced delivery of energy and services for utility customers through self-healing networks and smart grid devices.

Now, smart city technology is paving the way for the next generation of investment and service levels for utility customers. The 21st century utility moves beyond energy and looks to smart city platforms as the next wave of infrastructure that enables the growth and prosperity for our cities and communities.

 

Find out more about what happened at the 2018 Smart Cities Summit

 

Infrastructure

Transmitting and distributing energy to 9 million customers takes a robust infrastructure that has nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipeline. As technology and the need for automation expands, our infrastructure must be adaptable and ready to support how cities and consumers use energy.  From our energy diversification strategy to grid modernization to replacing old lines with fiber, to using our light poles to increase public safety, our infrastructure provides cities and other industry partners a medium to make a connected future possible.

Smart Solutions

Yes, our core business is generating, transmitting and distributing energy; however, we do more than that.  We innovate as well as partner with cities and other industries to bring technological innovations that help better the lives of the customers we serve. Below are a few examples of solutions we deliver in the areas of energy efficiency, public safety, transportation management and resiliency. 

  • Electric transportation
  • Smart Lighting
  • SiteView
  • Small cell attachments or Co-location
  • Actively pursuing pilots in the following areas:
    • Smart homes:  Automation and security
    • Public safety:  Gunshot detection and cameras
    • Distributed energy resources: Microgrids, energy storage and solar
    • Mobility: Smart parking and traffic management

Smart Neighborhoods

Is a real-world research and development project focused on how cutting-edge technologies will help homes function more efficiently while providing more convenience to homeowners, and how advanced communities will impact the electric grid. The Smart Neighborhood™ is powered both by the traditional electric grid, as well as a community-scale power system called a “microgrid,” which is composed of solar panels, battery storage and natural gas back-up generation. Data and insights garnered from the homes, distributed generation and other systems will help determine which programs and services provide the best solutions for customers.

Smart Cities Need Smart Utilities

Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, the company and its subsidiaries are inventing America's energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers.  Here’s a spotlight on a few of our subsidiaries and how they are putting the energy behind smart cities.

 

Partnerships with leaders in adjacent industries like telecom, transportation & mobility, and the builder community.

Pilots with key state and local agencies, research institutions like University of Alabama at Birmingham, Georgia Tech and EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute), and technology solutions.

City of Atlanta

City of Birmingham, AL

City of Montgomery, AL

Gulfport, MS

 

Smart Communities Challenge Winners:

City of Albany, GA

City of Chamblee, GA

Chamblee County

Gwinnett County

 

Smart Cities Council Challenge Winners

City of Birmingham, AL

Investment in innovation through Southern Company’s significant R&D efforts, Energy Innovation Center (EIC), and founding member of Energy Impact Partners (EIP), a venture capital firm focused on energy solutions.  Here are a few stats about the EIP fund.  

  • The largest energy focused venture capital fund in the world.
  • $240mm has been invested in 20 portfolio companies.
  • The first company to receive funding in 2017 was Ring, the smart doorbell and security company.